Moon and other men with bees in their busy bonnets

Synchronicity is a funny thing. One minute you’re not thinking of anything in particular; the next so many moments, the one thing you’re not quite thinking of crops up like a bad penny.

And buzzes like a busy bee that just won’t go away. Ah, that’s got it going. All I did was think of bees – or not quite think of bees – and that infernal buzzing started. First, there were the hornets at Sigiriya – reported many times over in the press recently.

Then, there were the wasps who made their home in a sacred statue in Dambulla – which news item was in the papers just this week. And not to be outdone, there is one phrase rich with assonance, which is even now echoing hollowly in my head like the soft buzzing of a distant chainsaw. “The moaning of doves in immemorial elms and the murmuring of innumerable bees…” – can you hear its hum, dear? Mmmmm.

The moaning of doves in immemorial elms

Ban ki-Moon has a bee in his bonnet. All he can ever think of when he thinks of us – or when he not quite thinks of us – is war crimes and war tribunals.

Ever since the war was won, all Mr. Ban can hear is the moaning of peace doves in the immemorial elms of the Western world. Their pressing and increasingly insistent thoughts keep echoing hollowly in his head like the loud buzzing of a chainsaw that means business. And now the day of reckoning has come. The doves of the West are ready to sit in judgment on the war hawks of the East.

That’s the problem when you get a bee in your bonnet, Mr. Moon. You can only hear the hemming and hawing of the self-righteous. Your sound card has neither the sense nor sensibility to hear other voices – dissonant, disagreeing; pointing out that what’s fair in war is fair in peace, sauce for the goose the same for the gander. Please, get a life. Get real. Be fair. Be a man. Admit that mistakes have been made and are being made, and that being the world’s self-righteous policeman is a thankless task. There’s no smoke without fire… sure… but look from where the smoke is there, would you?

And the murmuring of innumerable bees

The Rajapaksa regime has a bee in its bonnet. All they can ever think of when they think of themselves – or not quite think of themselves – is peace prizes and peace dividends. Ever since the elections were won, all that all the President’s men can hear is the murmuring of innumerable bees in the chambers of Parliament. Their sibilant and increasingly sycophantic thoughts keep dropping into wells of silence that have, up to now, swallowed their ideas up whole. But now the time for action has come.

The hawks who won the election battle are ready to assume the mantle of benevolent tyrants – for ever and a day, if they are allowed their way.

That’s the issue when all you have on your mind is constitutional change designed to serve some selfish ends. You can only hear the soundness of your own reasoning – that it is, after all, in the national interest that you go on forever. Like a babbling brook.

Or a hive of bees. You lose all sympathy for murmurs that are not entirely sympathetic. Dissenting notes or dissident chords which suggest that too much of a good thing can be good for nothing.

Have a heart, thank you. Haven’t you had enough? How many others have… or have not… So do what’s right. What’s fair. What’s good. What’s true. And don’t let the people’s pleasure fool you into thinking that the greatest good is what is good for the greatest number.

What’s the buzz?

The loudest buzzing is made by people with a plan, a purpose, an agenda. But it is also a truism that empty bees make the most noise. Ban may be over the moon with his idea to persecute us, because you will never hit the trees unless you aim for the stars.

The incumbent regime back home may be set to prosecute its bid for executive longevity, because you can never completely control the legislature and judiciary until you have mastered yourself as an executive.

Men with bees in their bonnets may be a social nuisance, but it is only they who ever make a stinging mark that we will all feel on our political skin. But that’s quite enough buzzing! The rest is a humless silence.

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